It was only 3.9 miles to Kennedy Meadows this morning and I didn’t make it until almost noon. It’s Mac’s birthday so we had to spend some time in camp harassing him. Then I started with less than a mile of hiking before stopping to go swimming. It was pretty cold and no one else would go in past their toes so I got back out again. Then we hit the 700 mile mark and had to hang out there a while. We finally made it to the road to Kennedy Meadows, the gateway to the Sierra.

image

image

There’s not much of a town but we walked down to the general store. There is a large deck attached that hikers hang out on and we got a long round of applause as we walked in. All hikers do. It’s such a great welcome! And a congrats to making it out of the Southern California desert.

I joined everyone on the deck, ordered a cheeseburger and a hot dog from the grill, grabbed a celebratory bottle of wine from the store, picked up my package of supplies from home and my replacement trekking pole parts from Komperdell, and bought a bear canister to store my food in coming up. Then I didn’t move for the remainder of the afternoon. I helped cheer for more hikers coming in and just relaxed on the deck.

image

The tips on my trekking poles had been getting loose and then they broke off completely so I called Komperdell from Tehachapi to see about replacement tips. Because of the tools needed to get the old tips off and the new tips on, and their understanding that as a thru hiker I cant send my poles in for repair, they decided to just send me whole new lower sections. Great customer service!

We eventually went out back to set up camp and decorated Mac’s tent for his birthday.

image

There is a tavern a few miles away that picks up hikers to go eat so we went there for dinner before coming back for bed.

image